July 29, 2022

The Importance of Wastewater Treatment 

Water is a very critical resource for our planet. There is a limited amount of water on our plant that could be used for drinking, farming and other important needs. Without wastewater treatment, there won’t be any other alternatives to manage wastewater. If we inject wastewaters back to the ground, not only the water (an scarce resource) will be wasted, but also the clean aquifers nearby will be negatively impacted. In the case of treatment, the treated water could be injected to the ground which could help the water resources and prevent any negative impacts to other groundwater resources.

There are several applications for treated/reclaimed wastewater. A main use of reclaimed water is for irrigation. There are many gulf courses and parks that would use the reclaimed water. Other applications of reclaimed water are process water for power plants, refineries, factories, dust control, construction, artificial lakes, irrigations, and landscaping.

Image Credit: Outdoor Design Resource

There are not any federal mandates to reuse reclaimed water, and the primary authority to make rules and execute them have been given to the states. The rules are not only to use the water, but to prevent the contamination of the groundwater sources that are used for drinking water.

In some western states, the impact of climate change and prolonged drought that has worsen the water resources, and the rules are being made to treat the reclaimed water to a drinking level standard; It is called direct potable reuse. In the direct potable reuse, the wastewater could be used as drinking water after the treatment, and only 10-20% will be lost due to evaporation, and moisture in the sludge.

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